Use of SAR satellite imagery for geological repositories monitoring

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					ABSTRACT                                                                            IAEA-CN-184/298

      Use of SAR satellite imagery for geological repositories monitoring
         P. Buttona, T. Engelb, I. Niemeyerc, O. Okkod, J.P. Paquettee, G. Parsonsf, T.
         Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Ottawa, Canada
         TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg, Germany
         Forschungszentrum Juelich, Juelich, Germany
         Radiation Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), Helsinki, Finland
         International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria
         C-Core, Kanata, Canada
         Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAX), Tsukuba, Japan

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The Satellite Imagery Analysis Unit (SIAU) was tasked with a research program to evaluate the
potential effectiveness of remote sensing technologies and techniques for monitoring geological
repositories in northern areas. The joint Member State Support Program (MSSP) task entitled ‘Use of
Satellite Imagery Data for Geological Repositories’ was initiated by the need to identify the remote
sensing technologies and techniques that will best support the needs of safeguards in monitoring
geological repositories.

The use of optical imagery is well known to the Agency; however the lack of daylight hours during
winters at higher latitudes and cloud conditions typical in coastal and tropical climates will
compromise the Agency’s ability to monitor some sites at times of its choosing. Synthetic Aperture
Radar (SAR) is not subject to limitations due to cloud cover and can function without daylight. The
objective of this joint program was to evaluate the potential effectiveness of various SAR satellite
imagery technologies to detect undeclared activities for diverting spent fuel from a geological

The Canadian, German and Japanese Support Programs evaluated various approaches to processing
SAR data. The Canadian Support Program studied the application of Radarsat-2 data in the
identification of safeguards relevant features. The German Program focused on the use of TerraSAR-X
data for generating surface models by radargrammetry and interferometry, non-coherent and coherent
2D change detection, and 3D change detection by interferometry. The Japanese Program investigated
interferometry and coherent 2D change detection using Phased Array type L-band SAR (PALSAR)
onboard the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS).

An important part of the program included collection of data over the Onkalo site in Finland. During
spring 2010 targets were placed at known locations on the site, which was then imaged by all three
SAR sensors. These sensors offered various resolutions and operated on different microwave
wavelengths (L, C and X bands). The presentation compares performance of the three SAR sensors
and comments on their ability to detect undeclared activities that could be associated with diversion of
spent fuel after emplacement.

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